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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Riley Cabinet: Only "Dedicated Christians" Need Apply

In his first public event since announcing his re-election campaign, Bob Riley spoke to a gathering of Baptist ministers. Riley's remarks, which focused mainly around his faith, seemed well-received as he geared them toward his religious audience. Though Riley's speech was heavy on religious imagery and rhetoric, the governor didn't stray into the hyperbole sometimes associated with his primary opponent.

Well except for maybe this one thing.

[Riley]described a Cabinet full of "dedicated Christians" as being his greatest blessing as governor.
Riley wasn't trying to be controversial with this statement and it's not a blatantly offensive rant of the Hank Erwin variety. And no doubt it drew a lot of head-nods from the audience full of Baptist preachers. But does Bob Riley mean that being a "dedicated Christian" is a requirement to be in his cabinet? No Jews need to apply of course. Catholics...maybe. What about a Lutheran who misses church every now and then? Is he "dedicated" enough?

I am obviously making more of this than Riley intended as I doubt the governor uses religiosity as a litmus test for cabinet appointments. But this was his first speech after announcing for re-election against an opponent whose political record has centered around one issue, so it might be a little naive to think Riley didn't know what he was saying.

Though Riley implicitly criticized Moore's religious grandstanding at his re-election announcement, it appears the governor may also be trying out a little "Moore-lite" of his own.


Anonymous JamesB said...

I thought Riely wasn't gonna be doing this stuff. I guess he's gonna try to out-Moore Moore after all.

4:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This wasn't a campaign speech. Riley was invited to speak to this group months ago -- before he announced he was running for re-election.

7:39:00 PM  
Blogger Collin said...

A little bit of "religious rhetoric" will go a long way for Bob. I'm sure he, and those around him know his best bet is to stick to his guns, his business ties.

10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This analysis is a bit too sensitive. He has an outstanding cabinet, most all of whom happen to also be strong Christians. This is not a Roy Moore 2 ton monument-defy the law statement by any means. There is a huge difference, and you're overplaying it.

10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Altoid said...

It is being over-played to some extent, but this should be taken seriously. Article 6 of the Constitution prohibits a religious test for public service, and it should be taken seriously.

11:27:00 PM  
Blogger PoliSciZac said...

I admitted in the post that I was exaggerating the implications to a certain extent. I was just trying to make a point about the disconnect between Riley's campaign announcement and his first public event afterwards.

Still, the "too sensitive" charge is probably fair, but this is campaign season and everything Riley (and the others) say is going to be put under a microscope.

12:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

riley said he was blessed to have such a cabinet. that suggests he believes he didn't proactively use a religious litmus test -- he accepted what he got when he hired people he thought was qualified. and he feels it all turned out okay.

i really don't see a comparison between roy's antics and feeling "blessed" for having people around you who are like-minded on Christianity

5:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unbelieveable that Riley would say that about only Christians on his cabinet. I was personally married to one of his cabinet members who had affairs, illegitimate children and joined dating services via internet WHILE WE WERE MARRIED....UMPHHHHH, Some Christian.....

1:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please tell us more! is it as sexy and the stories and sleaze about nick and don?

11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me, it was much worse than any sleazy stories you might have heard about nick and don. But then, it was MY husband that was doing these things. Has been a year and still difficult..But this cabinet member certainly did not act like a Christian man and Gov. Riley knew all about it.

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